The Business Council strongly supports this legislation, which would require agencies to provide certain information to unsuccessful bidders and provide a timetable for vendor debriefs.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Require that bidders be advised of the completion of the selection process within 15 days of an agency’s selection of a winning bid and prior to its submission to OSC.
- Require that, with regard to centralized contracts, bidders be advised of the completion of the selection process within 15 days of the Office of General Service’s selection of a winning bid.
- Stipulate that the opportunity for a bidder to seek a debriefing must be state in the solicitation, which will provide a reasonable time for requesting a debrief.
- Require that, in contracts of $500,000 or more, states agencies shall provide an unsuccessful bidder an in-person or video-conferenced debrief. The debrief shall include: written explanation that includes the following: the reasons that the proposal or bid submitted by the unsuccessful offerer was not selected for award; the qualitative and quantitative analysis employed by the agency in assessing the relative merits of each bid; the application of each of the selection criteria to each bid; and why the winning bid was selected. The bill also requires agencies to provide unsuccessful offerers, upon request, with a reasonable opportunity to discuss the written explanation with agency personnel who were involved in the bid evaluation process.
- Require that, in contracts less than $500,000, state agencies provide to unsuccessful offerers, upon request, an in-person or video-conferenced debrief that includes the reasons that the proposal submitted by the unsuccessful offerer was not selected for an award.
A common concern raised by vendors is that agencies are inconsistent with regard to debriefs. Bidders frequently note that an agency will provide relatively little insight into the selection process. This is a source of frustration for vendors and hinders their ability to obtain clear feedback in order to improve future RFPs. Debriefs are widely regarded as a useful tool in the procurement processâ€”a recent survey of procurement officers conducted by the National Association of State Procurement Officials showed that debriefs during which vendors were informed of the evaluation process resulted in fewer bid protests.
This legislation will ensure that vendors are provided with adequate time to request a debriefing and are able to obtain information on the evaluation process that will help them better compete for future bids. Therefore, The Business Council supports approval of S.3450-C/A.2029-D.